Can the Lady Gophers still make the NCAA Tournament?

hungan1

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There is eleven games left not counting the Big Ten Tournament. Realistically, can the Lady Gophers pull off a miracle turnaround season and make the NCAAs? They are currently 12-6 (2-5 B1G).

Here is the Big Ten Standings as of today:
NW 5-1, 15-2
RUT 5-1, 15-2
IOW 5-1, 14-3
IND 4-2, 14-4
MD 4-2, 13-4
OSU 4-3, 11-7
NEB 3-3, 13-4
MIC 3-3, 12-5
PUR 3-4, 12-7
MN 2-5, 12-6
WIS 1-5, 9-8
PSU 1-5, 7-10
ILL 1-6, 10-8
 

tripledouble

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Me thinks someone has had a bit too much Kool-Aid this afternoon. But, I admire the optimism.
 

hungan1

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Just asking. I am trying to drink Kool-Aid, but there is nothing to be had yet.
 
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Katogopher

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It’s gonna be difficult but it is still in front of them, I think they need to finish at least 9-9 in conference. I do believe a record amount of BIG teams make it in. I believe Gophers early season win over ASU will go a long way But I feel they need to upset another team ahead of them in the conference. Of course all of this is made more difficult without Pitts.
 

CutDownTheNet

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None of the prognosticators have very good guessing algorithms (I’ll call them). Yet, I’ve started to believe that Warren Nolan http://www.warrennolan.com/basketballw/2020/team-predict-schedule?team=Minnesota is the “least bad” among them.

Last time I did the analysis based on that, it was looking pretty dicey, yet still feasible. Since then we’ve lost 2 out of 3 games - with the Illinois loss being the worst-looking among them, of course.

Warren Nolan predicts a subsequent 4 wins and 7 losses for us, which (if the Nolan predictions come true) would result in a 6-12 Big-Ten record plus a 10-1 non-conf for an overall record of 16-13. That would give us a predicted RPI of 75 and predicted SoS of 26.

One thing that helps our SoS is the relative parity in the B1G such that (currently) only us and the three teams below us have bad RPIs.

However, a 75 End-of-Season (EoS) RPI is not going to cut it with only 2 pretty good wins (against Arizona State and Purdue) plus a “good loss” (so to speak) against Missouri State with a projected EoS RPI of 2.

However (and here’s where the flashlight shines at the end of the tunnel), 3 of those projected future losses are projected to be 1 or 2 point losses.

On the one had you might react with “Well that sounds about right since we’ve lost so many heart-breakers thus far.” On the other hand one could be optimistic and hope we can fool Warren Nolan and convert those 3 into wins.

Under the latter optimistic attitude, if we could make it so, that would give us the 9-9 (19-10) season that @Katogopher wished for. And given Big-Ten parity, that just might get us to the Dance.

In other words, we’re not yet mathematically eliminated - but to thus defy the odds, we’re also going to have to figure out how to turn leads into wins in the 4th quarter.

Warren Nolan’s suggested road to the Dance for us is thus:

W Wisconsin
L @ Indiana
W Nebraska
W Rutgers
W @ Wisconsin
W Michigan
W @ Ohio State
W @ Michigan State
L Indiana
L @ Iowa
L Maryland

Or else win the B1G tournament for an automatic berth.

Navigating that course could be tricky, especially without Pitts.
 
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EaganGopher22

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Navigating that course could be tricky, especially without Pitts.
I concur that we will miss Pitts scoring capabilities. However, we appear to be a better defensive team and move/share the ball more. Perhaps that will be enough to move the needle in the right direction without Pitts? Small sample size so far, but it is no fun to give up hope.
 

SpaceJunkie

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The bubble as of right now is weak enough that Charlie Creme moved the Gophers back into "Last Four In" in his update from overnight. Too bad Gophers blew that again against Iowa or they would've made things way easier. Saving Gophers this year is win against Arizona St and rest of non-conference not being terrible SOS-wise as most Stollings years, and the Big Ten appearing to be strong (many teams projected to make torunament instead of just a few). If non-conf doesn't get discredited due to having Pitts then, maybe Gophers only have to go 8-10 and win one Big Ten Tournament game to make Tournament.
 

CutDownTheNet

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The bubble as of right now is weak enough that Charlie Creme moved the Gophers back into "Last Four In" in his update from overnight. Too bad Gophers blew that again against Iowa or they would've made things way easier. Saving Gophers this year is win against Arizona St and rest of non-conference not being terrible SOS-wise as most Stollings years, and the Big Ten appearing to be strong (many teams projected to make torunament instead of just a few). If non-conf doesn't get discredited due to having Pitts then, maybe Gophers only have to go 8-10 and win one Big Ten Tournament game to make Tournament.
Ouch, the possibility that the Committee might discredit the part of our season in which Pitts contributed, is an ugly thought I had not considered. Presumably there’s no formal policy on that, but just depends on what they are thinking at the time.
 

bball_craz_26

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Ouch, the possibility that the Committee might discredit the part of our season in which Pitts contributed, is an ugly thought I had not considered. Presumably there’s no formal policy on that, but just depends on what they are thinking at the time.
They wont "take away" wins that happened with Pitts. It would be no different if a star player goes down with a Torn ACL in January. the team doesn't have the wins with her taken away. Where is comes in to play could be seeding. This team with Pitts maybe would of been a 7 seed, but without the committee might not view them as more than a 10 Seed. Things like last 10 games, how they compete in recent games, currently health of the team etc is also taken into account but I don't see the NC or Arizona State win not being considered due to Pitts leaving.
 

whalenfan

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The bubble as of right now is weak enough that Charlie Creme moved the Gophers back into "Last Four In" in his update from overnight. Too bad Gophers blew that again against Iowa or they would've made things way easier. Saving Gophers this year is win against Arizona St and rest of non-conference not being terrible SOS-wise as most Stollings years, and the Big Ten appearing to be strong (many teams projected to make torunament instead of just a few). If non-conf doesn't get discredited due to having Pitts then, maybe Gophers only have to go 8-10 and win one Big Ten Tournament game to make Tournament.
Even if they do discredit the early season wins there should be a big enough sample size with the ladies on the team now. I think its unlikely they make the tourney but with Pitts they were 1-3 in conference if they get in tourney consideration that would mean this group would get 8 or 9 conference wins without her.
 

hungan1

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It's hard to say what went on. Maybe Destiny being there was hard to change and implement Whalen's system.

Now, I would expect for the Gophers to improve especially team defense and ball movement. Some folks are going to step up and have the opportunity to make the team get better.

It is too bad Staples decided to transfer. We can sure use her size. IMHO, her shooting woes are correctable if she had worked with someone.

With the short bench you have to worry about injuries.
 

tripledouble

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IMO, Staples was never going to be able to contribute much at this level. No offense to her, but she just wasn't good enough. After starting the first game of the season, she fell behind Scalia, Powell, and Masha on the depth chart. Not saying that she wouldn't be getting minutes now if she was on the time, but I don't think she was ever going to contribute much.
 
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